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tv   Jansing and Co.  MSNBC  December 10, 2012 7:00am-8:00am PST

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cliff? well, president obama and speaker boehner met one on one at the white house last night. it was the first time in almost a month. neither side is talking about what happened. but today president obama continues his public campaign to pressure republicans to give on taxes. later this afternoon, he'll head to michigan to talk to auto workers outside a plant in detroit. if you listen to the sunday shows, seems like some republicans are willing to give in on taxes to get where they want to go. entitlements. >> there is a growing group of folks that are looking at this and realizing that we don't have a lot of cards as it relates to the tax issue before year end. i mean, we have one house. that's it. the presidency and the senate is in the democrats' hands. a lot of people are putting forth a theory. i actually think it has merit. where you go ahead and give the president the 2% increase that he's talking about. the rate increase on the top 2%. and all of a sudden the shift goes back to entitlements. >> let me bring in "washington post" columnist danny milbank
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and "usa today" politics reporter jackie c. both released statements that said the lines of communication remain open. is there anything to read between the lines there, dana? >> chris, it's very heartwarming. but the fact of the matter is eve fn the speaker and the president are cuddling in the lincoln bedroom that's not going to get us a deal unless their stars are able to hammer something out. there have been no indications that they have been able to do so. so while certainly you'd want these guys to be meeting preferably more than once every three weeks as has been the case, i wouldn't take this as a sign that suddenly everything has turned around. we're probably no different place than we were yesterday. >> if you listen to bob corker, republicans know they have to give on taxes. so i guess, jackie, the key question is, what are the real options here? i mean, i suppose the house could pass the senate bill that extends tax cuts for 98% of americans, leave everything else until january. and use the debt ceiling as leverage. they could try to get some kind
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of deal on entitlement reform. maybe raising the age for medicare from 65 to 67. what's looking likely or is the problem that there is nothing that looks particularly likely right now, jackie? >> well, some of the things you just listed are going to be part of a framework. i think we're starting to see that. you know, the heavy lifting is going to have to happen this week. just in terms of time. if you don't get something by the 14th or 15th they're not going to have time by the rules to get this through before christmas. otherwise we're getting into christmas, getting into the holidays. it's going to get complicated getting members in and out of town and all that. this week is going to be a critical week when it comes to these negotiations. i think we're going to start to see a framework looking at ending the tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals, things like that. we're going to start seeing these details emerge this week. we have to. >> i want to talk more about the politics of it. what about what jackie says, dana? which is this time line?
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what kind of time are they looking at now? >> yes. jackie's right about that. as always. but it depends on what exactly it is they're coming up with. these guys can do anything very quickly. if they actually exhaust all other possibilities and set their mind to doing it. we know what the contours of an agreement would be. it could be done in a matter of hours once they get serious about it. if it's just going to be a matter of punting for a short period of time, well, that can be done much later in the game. comprehensive thing has to be done earlier. there is also a theory that these guys can't possibly come to an agreement until the very last second because the partisans on both sides will be faulting them for caving in, giving in too early. >> well, that's another possibility, jackie. there's a headline in politico today that says even if the white house and boehner reach a deal, no guarantee congress would pass it. as if this might be the ultimate revolt against john boehner by his caucus. >> oh, yeah. you see a little bit of that in the editorial pages today.
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you have bill crystal saying one thing. you have "the wall street journal" editorial page saying another thing. >> something different. >> yeah. you see the fishers in the republican party alone. i think you'll see it in the democrat party who start getting into other issues. we got a long way to go. i think it starts this week getting serious. >> the journal has a piece today called the republican tax panic. the president wants to give the appearance of a looming fiscal crisis because it serves his political interest, kind of spooking republicans to give him everything he wants. republicans need not play along and they in the country will suffer if they do. above all, they need to start negotiating as a team with mr. obama and stop making premature concessions for the tv cameras that only make the white house less likely to meet them halfway. is that the net result, dana? >> well, it is a crisis. it's a manmade crisis. it's not like some meteor is headed towards the earth. they set it up this way so there will be these massive tax increases and massive spending cuts, so they do need to -- they
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have made it to they need to act. the question is do you need an even larger crisis? do you need the economy to be in free fall to get these guys to take some action? unfortunately given the past record, that can't be ruled out. >> yeah. when it comes to cuts, especially on medicare, that whole conversation has to be had. here's what dick durbin said on "meet the press." >> i do believe there should be means testing. those of us with higher income and retirement should pay more. that could be part of the solution. but when you talk about raising the medicare eligibility age there's one key question. what happens to that early retiree. ? what about that gap in coverage between their workplace and medicare? >> jackie, are democrats getting away with giving way less on this deal? >> i don't think we know yet. i think there's going to be -- there's going to be a lot of arguments within the democratic party about some of the entitlement reforps. i don't think we've seen that yet because we've been so wrapped up in the tax cut part of it. yeah. we haven't gotten there yet. it's no doubt that's going to be a matter of contention in the
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democratic party as we go forward. >> and in the meantime we've got the president who's continuing his pr offensive heading to michigan to talk to voters today. at the same time, republicans there at the state capitol are pushing right to work measures that would make union membership and union dues voluntary in the private sector in michigan. let me bring in michigan state house democratic leader-elect, tim grimmel. good to see you. thank you so much for being with us. >> great to be on the show. thanks for having me. >> to be honest, you're up against a republican house, republican senate, republican governor rick snyder has changed his position. he now supports right to work. what are you chances of stopping it? >> well, i don't think our chances of stopping it legislatively are particularly good. you know, it's a remarkable thing where we have a governor who campaigned as a moderate who has said for over two years that this issue is too divisive for michigan. now he's its biggest fan. either he was lying when he
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called it too divisive or he is by his own admission an extremist who's pushing an agenda that's too divisive and too extreme for our state. >> right now as i understand it the entire michigan federal delegation, house and senate, those folks are meeting with governor snyder. could that change anything? >> well, i have heard that they're meeting with him. we'll have to see what comes of that discussion. >> let me play devil's advocate here and just talk about the specifics of this. supporters say that this is going to help the state attract and keep businesses. they often point to auto suppliers, for example. are they right about that? >> no. they're not, christine. let me just correct something that you said in your introductory remarks when you said that the proposed law would make union membership and union dues voluntary. union membership and union dues are already voluntary. it has been illegal in the united states for over 60 years to compel anyone to join a union. currently in michigan and most
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other states, if people do not join a union and do not pay union dues, yet are covered by a collective bargaining agreement and benefit from higher wages, higher benefits and better working conditions under that collective bargaining agreement, they must either be a union member or they must pay what's called an agency fee simply to cover the administrative cost of administering that collective bargaining agreement. what this law would do is it would allow those individuals who benefit from a collective bargaining agreement to avoid paying their fair share. that's why i don't call this right to work. i call it a freedom to free load law. >> so you already would be joining, i think, 23 other states that have right to work in place. there was a heritage foundation study that found union membership fell by 15% in states that passed right to work. another study from economic policy institute reports that wages fell by more than 3% under right to work. although that was less than some opponents had predicted. what do you think the impact in michigan would be? >> i think the impact in
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michigan is going to be the same that we've seen in all of the other states that have passed this terrible legislation. and that is we're going to see wages decline. we're going to see good benefits decline. we're going to see workplaces become less safe. the fact is that this has not been good for economic growth in any of the states that have enacted right to work laws. they have unemployment rates that are as high or higher than michigan's. pushing right to work is the surest path to poverty that anybody could pursue here in michigan. >> there were some pretty big demonstrations last thursday at the state capitol to protest this. kind of reminisce sant of what we saw in wisconsin and ohio when those states voted on these union issues. what are you expecting tomorrow? what's your prediction? >> i think we're going to see thousands and thousands of people here in lansing who are protesting not just about the substance of this terrible legislation of so-called right to work, but they're also very upset and rightfully so about
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the lack of process and the lack of transparency that we've seen. you know, the governor said last week that he wants thoughtful discussion about this. about a day later, he decided that he was going to ram this through the legislature. they have done so by suspending the normal rules so that this matter does not need to go through the normal committee process. as a result, there's no opportunity for public input. and they voted to discharge it from committee without any committee hearings. and within 90 minutes it was passed on the floor of the state house. that is the opposite of democratic transparency. it's the opposite of any meaningful discussion or deliberatetive process. it's really a slap in the face to democracy to do this during the waning hours of lame duck when they're depending on the votes of people who just lost their election in november because their extremist agenda was rejected by voters. and they know that they have to do it now.
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they have to depend on those people who just lost votes. because it's those people who won't be able to be held accountable by the voters in the future because they're going to be gone by the end of this year. >> representative griemel, thank you so much. we were mentioning earlier we saw this in wisconsin. we saw it in ohio, dana, last year. there was extensive coverage of what happened in wisconsin in part because of the governor there. but the fact that this is getting less attention this time around, is that some sort of indication that this is the way the world is going? >> you know, i don't think so, necessarily, chris. i mean, it's clear that governor snyder started looking for the scott walker prize and tea party a adulation there. it seems to me what happens is you do have these periodic overreaches after an election. you saw it on the other side, republicans complained with some
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justification that obama rather than focusing on the economy went ahead with obama care and he paid for that. i think you're going to see the same sort of backlash here where voters have been saying very clearly they want action on the economy. now it becomes sort of an anti--union effort that has very little to do in the short term with the economy. so maybe, you know, they may be able to get their right to work thing through there but there will be the inevitable backlash. >> it is interesting that the congressional delegation, that there are a lot of members who are there now talking to the governor, jackie. what do you think? what's going on in that room right now? >> i think it also varies state to state i'd like to add. something that worked in wisconsin won't necessarily work in ohio. we saw that during some of the scott walker drama that went down. ohio, unions won. wisconsin, unions lost. michigan, another union heavy state, we could see something else entirely. that said the president going there and most likely the president is going to voice his opposition to this, i think that also elevates this issue a
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little bit more than it would have been otherwise. >> also heavily symbolic, don't you think, dana? michigan was one of the grandfathers of the union movement. this is a place where i think a lot of people felt for many, many years that as challenges to unions went, this was the one that was likely to hold strong. >> right. it's highly some bollic to take it to the uaw right there in the heart of all their power. it's no secret that union power, particularly in the private sector, has been declining for a long period of time. but, you know, the question is, less whether they can win the battle in the short term but if there's a backlash of the regular voter, nonunion voter saying why are you wasting your time with this stuff? standing up for malala. historic global conferences under way right now in paris honoring the teenager shot in the head by the taliban. a young schoolgirl read a statement from malala yousseffy
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saying, quote, the sooner all deprived children go to school the sooner i will get better. they've established the malala fund which will promote girls' education around the world. pakistan says it will donate $10 million to the fund. mala lalala is now recovering ik hospital. of year again. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at citi.com/pricerewind.
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the crisis in egypt over its draft constitution is getting even more volatile. as of today, the military is protecting government buildings until the results of the constitutional referendum this saturday. opponents say the new constitution would enshrine islamic law turning the country into a religious state.
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michael sing, managing director for the washington institute for near east policy and former senior director for middle east affairs at the national security council. always good to see you, michael. >> hi, chris. >> we've had weeks of protest. president moorsi rescinded the earlier edict. but the opposition is now calling for a boycott of saturday's referendum on the new charter. is that a sign they know they can't win? what does this mean? >> well, chris, what it looks like happened here is that morsi, president morsi of egypt, seized these powers in part to ram this constitution through the constitutional assembly. and now that it's through the constitutional assembly and we have this referendum coming up on saturday, he's sort of maneuvering to try to weaken the opposition to it. you saw he partially rescinded his seizing of those extra powers. he's also coopted the military by giving them sort of special status in this constitution. frankly, chris, he's also in a sense weakened international
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opposition by doing certain cooperative things in terms of regional politics and regional stability. so it's all a very savvy set of moves by morsi. but we'll see if it succeeds on saturday. >> the national salvation front, which is an alliance of these prominent opposition figures, is warning that a referendum amid the current political crisis will actually plunge the country into even more chaos. what are your thoughts? what are the chances this referendum will happen on saturday? and, if so, what will be the outcome? >> i do think, chris, there is a good chance for instability. remember that morsi was only elected by 51% of the voters. and so this is a deeply divided country. and the constitution doesn't represent any real effort of consensus among egypt's factions. it represents a relatively narrow point of view and a concentration of power in the president's hands. i think what morsi is trying to do, for example, he announced tax hikes on sunday only to suspend those tax hikes today. i think he's trying to do what he can to deflate the opposition and essentially win this vote on
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saturday and sort of take this as a sign that he's now free to lead the way he wants to and use the military if necessary to enforce that lead. >> meantime let's talk about syria. the civil war there spilled over to lebanon where at least 17 people were killed in recent clashes. nbc news reported president assad is getting chemical weapons ready to use on his people. of course, they've denied it. where do you put the threat level? >> well, i think the threat level is certainly increasing. you know, we obviously don't have access to those intelligence reports. but you've heard lots of signs of alarm from u.s. officials that there are indications of these chemical weapons are being prepared for use. when you combine that with the signs that maybe assad's forces are in a little bit more danger from the rebels than they were before, you might think that perhaps the regime is becoming desperate enough to use these chemical weapons. that said, chris, i do think it would be near suicidal for the regime to do so. so far the international community has stayed out. i don't think the united states wants to get involved. but this sort of step could almost force the united states to get involved as we've already
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seen from the president and secretary of state's words. >> speaking of the secretary of state, apparently she's got a stomach virus. and it's forcing secretary clinton to delay her overseas trip that is supposed to sfoe focus on giving more support to the syrian opposition. we are told she's likely to announce the administration's going to recognize the opposition's new leadership council as the sole legitimate representative of the syrian people. michael, how important is that? >> it's important to support the opposition. i think, though, at this point, chris, it may be too little too late. trying to influence these vents on the ground in syria while we've been hanging back for so long will be tremendously difficult. i think we're left now in a sense to play catchup as events have really outpaced our ability to do much about them. >> washington institute managing director michael sing, always good to see you, michael. thank you. >> thank you, chris. meantime, newark's mayor cory booker says he's not only thinking about running for governor. he's thinking about running for u.s. senate. and he said yesterday he'll make
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his decision on his next move within the next two weeks. meantime, today is the last day of the mayor's food stamp challenge. he blogged yesterday that he is craving variety. because in order to keep costs down, he had to buy things in bulk and eat the same thing every day. the mayor had about $4 a day for his food budget for the last week. at optionsxpress we're all about options trading. we create easy to use, powerful trading tools for all. look at these streaming charts! they're totally customizable and they let you visualize what might happen next. that's genius! strategies, chains, positions. we put 'em all on one screen! could we make placing a trade any easier? mmmm...could we? open an account today and get a free 13-month e ibd™ subscription
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to politics now where senator john manchin is repulsed by plans for a reality show filmed in his state. >> our motto around here is whatever happens, happens. >> well, this is it. the trailer for "buckwild" which is dubbed jersey shore in appalachia. it follows a group in their 20s living in sissonville, west virginia. here's what manchin said on today. >> this is one of the greatest
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states in the nation with the best today. it's just not who we are. it's not how we were raised. and to portray this as the norm, it's wrong. that's all i have said. i'm just hoping they instill decency in people and say is this entertainment? is this what you have to do today to make a profit? >> mitt romney's having a little fun. he was spotted at the mgm grand saturday night in las vegas watching a big fight. he sat with ann to watchmanny pacquiao. he enter deuced himself to pacquiao like this. hi, manny. i ran for president and lost. he got a big laugh in the room according to "the washington pos post". >> the white house just joined, yes, pinterest. it has just over 6,000 followers. a spokeswoman says they plan to pin inspirational images and quotes. so far they've only pinned one thing. that's this invitation to join a special holiday social next week. look how cute beau is. amid the controversy, the rapper psy took part in the
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concert christmas in washington. the gangnam style rapper apologized for lashing out against the iraq war at several of his old concerts. former republican governor of florida turned independent charlie crist has turned again. he tweeted out, proud and honored to join the democratic party in the home of president obama. and a picture of his new voter registration form. the picture was taken at a reception at the white house. if you read only one thing this morning, there is a new political movement under way. begging for help from the white house. thousands of americans who fear the loss of twinkies. and they want president obama to nationalize the twinkie industry to prevent the loss of snack cakes, quote, sweet, creamy center. that's just one example of we the people soliciting help from the highest levels of government. for more, and there are many more, check out my must read. it's up on our facebook page at
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fascinating new insights about the possibilities for hillary clinton once she steps town at secretary of state likely next month. but "the new york times" also says that she's telling people who want to book her in 2013, call back in april or may. in the meantime, all of those myriad choices hinge on one other decision. the decision. 2016. and republicans are taking notice. >> a fair competitor in '16 is going to be hillary clinton supported by bill clinton and presumably a still relatively popular president barack obama. trying to win that will be truly the super bowl. and the republican party today is incapable of competing at that level. >> joining me now, democratic strategist danielle gibbs. that's a pretty big admission.
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newt gingrich saying republicans would be incapable of beating hillary clinton in 2016. do you agree with your old boss, david? >> what he's saying is at this point given the way republicans are running campaigns, given what we just saw with governor romney campaigning and the couple of the senate campaigns, in terms of being able to be an effective political force, in terms of running a campaign against someone who's going to be that highly skilled, republicans have got a lot of work to do. so as a result it's not -- it's just not simply the tactical side. the voter lists and the data bases. it's the strategic side as well. remember, we made the strategic -- or the strategic decision was made by romney there was going to be a referendum. couldn't have been more wrong. >> let's look at the list of other possibilities. what might entice her to not run for president? she's been talked about as going to work with her husband at the clinton foundation. she could be president of yale. also maybe head george soros' foundation. write a memoir. although it might be of her years as secretary of state. speaking circuit.
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there's some speculation if she went out with her husband they would command record fees. there's also been a little bit of talk about her becoming a supreme court justice. i don't know. if not president, take a stab at it. are any of these more likely than the others? >> oh, i don't know. i mean, some of those she could do even if she does decide to run for president. she can still write a book and then decide to run. the supreme court one, that's interesting. i haven't heard that before. i don't think i put too much stock in that. i think the first thing she's going to do is take a very well deserved break. take a couple months and just hang out with her family. and then make a decision in a couple of months. i know we like to speculate about this. i'm sure she is so tired of this conversation. >> well, if she wants to keep her options open, "the new york times" says her freedom will come with a huge restraint. i'm going to quote from the article. the more serious she is about 2016, the less she can do. no frank, seen-it-all memoir. no clients, commissions or controversial positions that
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could prove problematic. are they right about that? is jody cantor right about that, david? >> if she decides she's going to focus on 2016 that's the command focus for the next four years. everything has to play into that narrative in terms of what she's going to do. this is not something you can just decide a year out to do and what you've done the three previous years don't matter. this is a long process. the other thing, too, this is a woman who lost the last time. so the idea of what she has to do to get it right and the things that she thinks she needs to do, i think you'll see a higher level of discipline from her than you saw last time which was not bad either. >> look, she is legendarily disciplined. "the new york times" also makes the point, which i think is interesting, that back in '08 she announced almost two years before election day. and the race ended up seeming endless to her. and there are hints she would wait a lot longer just to announce this time. but if we watch her and we see the kinds of things she does and
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doesn't do over, let's say, the next 9 to 12 months, is that going to be the best indication as to whether she's running or not? >> i do think so. i think if she's considering running there are limitations on the type of things she can do. she might want to wait for a couple years before she announces. just given the nature of our political cycle and news cycle i think she will have to make a decision maybe more sooner than she is comfortable doing. >> david, there are a lot of other people who are going to be waiting in the wings, aren't they? i think there's got to be any number of democrats who are dying to run. but certainly don't want to go up against hillary. how would that change the field, this waiting game? >> well, i mean, again, that's part of the decision making process. if she gets in early, do other people decide not to? if she waits too long do other people enter and feel like they can't get out? that's part of the dynamic. i think at this point there's a general sense -- having said that, this is true last time around she's the overwhelming favorite. again, she was also the overwhelming favorite over president obama as well. she's got to work through that timing of when do i get in?
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how does that potentially limit the field or make the field not exist? it's a huge part of her decision making process. >> i'm wondering, i don't know if you're a betting woman. what are the odds we could have a clinton/bush in '16 race? >> oh, my goodness. i am not a betting person. >> if you were. >> if i were, i think the odds are more likely that she will run than that jeb will run. that's just a gut. i don't have any insider information. that's my feelings. i feel like we won't necessarily see jeb on the ticket in 2016. >> i'mgoing to have to let you play in parlor game, david. what do you think? clinton/bush? >> jeb bush would be a good candidate. but i think one of the silver linings for republicans in this last election was at the end of it what we realized is the bench for 2016 was deep. so in looking at bush is one of many possibilities in terms of who we could potentially have going up for the nomination. >> david winston, thanks to both
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of you. making news this morning, twin cities residents are digging out from 16 inches of snow this morning. it was a massive, all day snowstorm that socked the region yesterday. forecasters say the temperature won't go above 10 degrees today. it was also a terrible day to be on the road there. more than 600 accidents were reported across the state. the family of an american doctor rescued by u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s in afghanistan say they're incredibly grateful. they want to send condolences to the family of the s.e.a.l. who died during the observation. dr. joseph seen in this video posted online by morning star development, the organization he was working for, was rescued in eastern afghanistan yesterday morning. the s.e.a.l. who was killed was a member of s.e.a.l. team six. that is the same unit that killed osama bin laden. though it's not known if he was part of that operation. the ntsb is sending a small team of investigators to mexico to investigate the private plane crash that killed mexican
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american singing star jenni rive rivera. she's the mother of four and was just 43 years old. the australian radio hosts who pranked the british hospital where duchess kate was staying say they've been shattered by the death of one of the nurses involved. they spoke publicly this morning through tears. >> there's not a minute that goes by that we don't think about her family and what they must be going through. and the thought that we may have played a part in that is -- gut wrenching. >> the nurse who took their call died three days later. but the cause is not yet known. the deejays' show has been canceled. south africa's defense minister says former president nelson mandela is doing, quote, very, very well after being in the hospital for three days now. mandela is undergoing tests. officials aren't saying why he's in the hospital. he is 94 years old. two colorado university
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students are facing felony charges after police say they gave brownies laced with marijuana to their history class. authorities say the professor and another student had to be taken to the hospital. six others were treated at the school. again, not funny. it's a welcome gift for drivers. plunging gas prices for the holidays. cnbc's mandy drurry is here with what's moving your money. how low can they go? >> hopefully, chris, 3 bucks a gallon in much of the country. at this stage you've got u.s. supplies rising. demand is not so hot. so what we're seeing, chris, is wholesale prices are sinking. and that is soon going to be reflected at the pump. we're averaging now around, what, $3.35 a gallon nationwide. prices are expected to drop to around $3.20 a gallon within the next two to three weeks. as you say, a welcome holiday gift for many. >> yeah. as gas prices are going down, business is going up for fedex. of course, always this time of year. but they are expecting what? their busiest day ever today? >> ever. ever. yeah.
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it is known as green monday. it's the second monday in december. and the busiest package delivery day in fedex's history. obviously, you know, it's when lots of gift giving really ramps up. there's lots of online shopping going. everyone trying to get their gifts in obviously before christmas looms and various other holidays. at this stage fedex is forecasting around 19 million deliveries in its worldwide net work today. that's today alone. and it's up from 17.2 million in its year ago busiest day. last year it took place on december 12th. on that day not just for fedex, but in general, i think shoppers spent about $1.1 billion in shopping. of course, fedex is going to get a slice of that as well. >> wow. cnbc's mandy drury, thank you very much. if you're thinking ahead about planning your summer vacation, lonely planet is out wits top ten u.s. destinations for 2013. it might surprise you. number five, american samoa. number four, philadelphia.
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fancy new museum opened this year. the barnes. number three, san juan islands in washington state. number two for those of you who want to go west, fair babanks, alaska. maybe a big surprise. the number one destination, a city that's undergoing a resurgence, louisville, kentucky. ♪
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but one place was impossible, until now. our lattes, espresso and brewed coffee, now in your home from a machine like no other. and now $50 off through january 1st. the verismo® system, by starbucks. oh, and you thought all you had to get through was the fiscal cliff fight. no. president obama's team is already working on the next big battle with republicans. immigration reform. politico reports the president is set to push his immigration plan soon and, quote, while top republicans think they need to make a big move on the issue and actually want a bipartisan deal with obama, the rank and file remains skeptical. joining me now, co-author of that article, jim vandahigh. let's start with a scene setter.
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when top republicans talk about making a big move, what do they mean? >> first you need to look back at the election. they look at the results and they saw mitt romney lost hispanics by 44 points. i think establishment republicans are saying we got to do something and do something fast on immigration reform. particularly with providing a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants which has been a nonstarter for republicans until the last couple of weeks. what they're counseling their members to do is, listen, let's do a big deal with the president where we talk about border security. where we deal with high skilled labor. trying to bring in more foreign born students who have an expertise in science and deal with pathway to citizenship which is a very difficult, politically toxic issue. but one that has to be dealt with at some point. that's where the establishment republicans are. there's still a lot of republicans who have to vote on this stuff and have to run in primaries in 2014 who are saying, wait. haven't we spent the last decade running against this idea? now suddenly you want us to embrace it? at the same time you're asking us to embrace a tax hike? to them it's like, what's up
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with that? >> what do the republicans do about that? you talk about the small but influential group of conservative leaders who have started to figure out how they could sort of provide cover to those house lawmakers who have been talking against this all this time. >> i think that is probably what most republicans think is the smartest strategy. if you can get -- we talk about this piece. marco rubio. paul ryan. republicans that are in the house and senate that have real strong conservative credentials endorsing a deal, that could provide a lot of cover to rank and file republicans. remember, marco rubio is sort of the star of the republican party. emerging star. he wants to run for president. a lot of people think he has a good chance to be the republican nominee. if he blesses a deal it does provide these guys cover on an issue, again, they ran from and ran against for so many years. so to their constituents it's going to be a flip-flop. and to a lot of conservatives an unpalatable flip-flop. >> i've talked to a number of immigration officials since the
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election. people who have been very involved in this fight. they think obviously the time is right for this because of the outcome of the election that you talked about and big disparity between republicans and democrats and the latino vote. former governor jeb bush says, quote, you quote him in your article saying republicans should actually strike first, offer a comprehensive and c conservative proposal. >> probably unlikely. jeb bush has been a big advocate of comprehensive immigration reform for some time just like his brother. president bush pushed for comprehensive immigration reform and couldn't get it. remember, it wasn't long ago when bush was president, heck, hen he ran the first time around he got north of 40% of the hispanic vote. so republicans point to that as saying, listen. there is a pathway to success for the party on this issue. but it's just been so divisive ever since then. i think people like jeb bush, marco rubio, eddie gillespie,
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they can help republicans navigate this. at the end of the day to get something into law it has to pass the house. there's a lot of conservatives in the house that are worried about primaries. remember, the elect rat in an offyear election tends to be older and tends to be whiter. these guys are all about survival. they're not going to do anything that they think will make it more likely that someone more conservative than themselves would challenge them in a primary. for them it is about survival. >> what about the risks on the other side? are there risks for president obama in all of this? >> there's risk. you look at immigration, i tend to agree with democrats that he probably has a stronger hand given that republicans feel like they have to do something that he's wanted to do. but, remember, the president had his chance. he promised to do immigration reform in the first year of his first term. and he didn't do it. and he didn't do it when he had all democratic control. so he could have done it. he chose not to do it. so he's under a lot of pressure because he made that same promise again this election. there's a lot of hispanic
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leaders saying wait a second. you made that promise last time. you broke it. you made it this time. are you going to break it again? that's a lot of pressure on the president to do something. he knows he needs republicans. it's just like this debate over taxes. yes, he could jam republicans and just increase taxes. but that doesn't help him. he needs a strong economy and he needs some establishments over the next four years. and that requires some level of compromise with john boehner, with republicans. it's going to be an interesting first 100 days. because he's going to be dealing with both those issues having a pretty strong hand, but desperately needing republican help. >> jim vandehei, always good to have you on the program. >> thanks, chris. today's tweet of the day might be an indication that people are starting to tune out all of the fiscal cliff rangling. lisa barton writes from now on whenever i hear or read the words "fiscal cliff" or any related bad metaphors, parts of my brain will shut down. #catatonic. plus a powerful decongestant.
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same-sex couples are now legally getting married in washington state. the state started handing out marriage licenses last thursday. but a three-day waiting period made sunday the first official day for couples to tie the knot. as those weddings are taking place, the supreme court is preparing to take up two challenges to same-sex marriage. what are being billed as the civil rights cases of a generation. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams joins me now. pete, we learned that the high court is going to weigh in on these two cases. tell us about them. how are they different? >> well, they're very different issues. the first is a challenge to a federal law called the defense of marriage act. it says that marriage as far as the federal government is concerned can only be between one man and one woman. that means that in the states like washington where same-sex marriage is legal the federal government doesn't recognize those marriages, denying those couples about 1,000 benefits. if the supreme court strikes that law down, it wouldn't say states have to allow same-sex marriage. it would just say when they do the federal government has to
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recognize them. the other is a challenge to proposition 8 in california. that's the voter passed initiative that barred same-sex marriage in that state. now, that law was overturned, prop 8 was, by a federal appeals court that said you can't give a right and then take it away like this. if the supreme court does nothing more than uphold that ruling, it would apply only to california. so it may or may not get to the fundamental question about whether all states have to allow same-sex couples to get married. it could use the prop 8 case to reset question, but it doesn't necessarily have to. we're going to wait and see how broadly the supreme court wants to delve into this. >> how long do we have to wait before we see? >> they'll argue the case in march. we won't get the answer until late june. >> pete williams, always good to see you. that's going to wrap up this hour of "jansing & co." we are also covering marriage equality with equality
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matters. also on our agenda, wheels up. the president starts the week by hitting the road to michigan. as the clock runs down, does 2013 mean a new congress and a clean slate for balancing the country's books? hillary clinton buzz in overdrive. will one of the world's most powerful women go off the grid after her stint at secretary of state in order to set the stage for a 2016 run? and canned. those aussie deejays are pulled off the air after their prank goes horribly wrong. uage all it with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. information on my phone. connection to doctors who get where i'm from. and tools to estimate what my care may cost. so i never missed a beat. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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hi, everybody. good morning. i'm thomas roberts. topping the agenda today, on the road again. president obama wheels up at any moment now for his latest campaign style push to increase public pressure on republicans to let go of the tax breaks for the top earners. this time around, he's going to tour daimler's detroit diesel corporation. this comes after the president's most recent face to face with house speaker john boehner.
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the two men met yesterday, their first meeting since before thanksgiving. both leaders remained pub luckiluc licly quiet about it. it seems more like republicans are beginning to see the writing on the wall. >> we're not close. i think that, i mean, you're beginning to see more republicans say, okay. the president won the election. democrats picked up senate seats, house seats. he gets his way. to a point. >> look, i'm not happy. but this is also big boy politics. >> i actually think it has merit where you go in and give the president the 2% increase that he's talking about. >> will i accept a tax increase as a part of a deal to actually solve our problems? yes. >> this all comes as a brand-new politico/george washington university battleground poll shows 60% in favor of raises taxes on households making more than

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